A European Christmas is something special, no matter how many you’ve been there for. The short days and cold winter nights signal the introduction of the Christmas markets in the town squares, full of beautiful ornaments for the Christmas tree, all manner of scarves and gloves and the waft of gluhwien as you browse the stall. And the special dark seasonal beers that you look forward to all year.
Even the big boys indulge in this tradition, which is why we have the Leffe Biere de Nöel.
Many of the Kerstbiers are big dark monsters of 10% plus, but Leffe bring their Christmas beer in at a very moderate 6.6%.
It pours a dark mahogany with aromas of plums, raisins, clove and nutmeg. And these attributes follow through in the flavour. A fairly sweet and dark fruity malt body, with a little bitterness and spicy to break things up.
This really is the introduction to Christmas beers, and kind of whets the appetite for something bigger and bolder. But a really pleasant beer to enjoy on a cold night when in need of a little warming.